• Jenna Miller

Favorite Reads of 2021


I read more books this year than I ever have before. I really owe it all to my husband who bought me a Kindle for our ten year anniversary last January. It was tremendously helpful while waking up with and feeding our baby this last year.


I'll list the books I read below, but bold those that still stand out to me after all this time. I hope you find something that peaks your interest!


[Picture from our one date last year in the Netherlands!]







January 2021:

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

You're Not Enough (And That's Okay) by Allie Beth Stuckey

Last Light by Terri Blackstock {I still think about this series. Imagining life without electricity and our modern 'necessities' fascinates me.}

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center {I have loved all of Center's books! Mostly clean romcoms with deeper story lines.}

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Night Light by Terri Blackstock

Strange Country by Donna Leon

Out of the Silence: After the Crash by Eduardo Strauch

The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

The Call of the Wild by Jack London


February 2021:

Every Secret Thing by Susanna Kearlsey {Kearsley writes great historical fiction. Loved that this one flipped back and forth from Portugal to NYC to Canada . WWII and present day,}

Until Tomorrow: Christy and Todd the College Years by Robin Jones Gunn

The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee {fascinating memoir!}

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali {One of the most beautiful novels! Tehran 1950s to 2013 US.}

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey

A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

From Scratch by Tembi Locke

Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods

Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk


March 2021:

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman {Loved this funny murder mystery set in a retirement home and investigated by septuagenarians!}

Sweet Water by Cara Reinard

Mary Prince and Asa-Asa {Eye-opening autobiographies of former slaves who found freedom in Great Britain.}

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

When We Were Young and Brave by Hazel Gaynor

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle {A reread for me. Really enjoyed the audiobook this go around.}

God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill {Fantastic movie-like autobiography of a Dutch missionary, specifically during the Cold War.}

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson's Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Jan Stocklassa

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson {Another reread. I was impressed with its readability for such an old book.}


April 2021:

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Narrative of My Captivity Among the Sioux Indians by Fanny Kelly

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder {My boys loved this read-aloud with all of its farm life descriptions.}

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Last Firehawk: The Ember Stone by Katrina Charman {My boys love this series!}

The Last Firehawk: The Crystal Caverns by Katrina Charman

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger {I savored this whole book. It gave me so much to think about--a bit like a modernized Huck Finn tale.}

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center {Another awesome romcom that is not just fluff.}


May 2021:

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates

Insider Outsider: My Journey As A Stranger in White Evangelicalism and My Hope for Us All by Bryan Loritts

The Likeness by Tana French {French's mysteries are always kind of creepy, but this one was a stand out. They are slow burns that leave you feeling the eerie atmosphere she creates.}

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradely

The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick

A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson

Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot {This series was a surprise to me. I'm not a huge animal person or medical person, but I loved Herriot's books!}

In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson


June 2021:

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

What You Wish For by Katharine Center {You know by now how much I enjoy Center's books!}

The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms

All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot {Another great book describing life as a vet in England right before WWII.}

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater {A funny read-aloud with the boys. They enjoyed Mr. Popper and his talented penguins.}

The Last Firehawk: The Whispering Oak by Katrina Charman

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and why thats a good thing) by Jen Wilkin

The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Hercule Poirot's First Case by Agatha Christie {Always fun to find a Christie novel I haven't read before!}

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald


July 2021:

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny {Penny's mysteries are slow, somewhat cozy, but deal with the grit that comes from murder and crime. I always enjoy reading her books.}

The Survivors by Jane Harper {Harper's novels have tension so thick you can feel it. Set on Australian continent.}

Room-maid by Sariah Wilson

The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West {I am fascinated by life in the White House. West's autobiography is interesting and informative without being seedy. He worked there from FDR-Nixon.}

New Girl in Little Cove by Damhnait Monaghan

The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg {Rosenberg writes incredibly detailed political thrillers from a Christian perspective.}

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid


August 2021:

The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny {Another Inspector Gamache installment. Loved the setting in a reclusive monastery.}

Heaven by Randy Alcorn {A heavily researched book on what the Bible actually says about Heaven, and inferences that can be made from those Scriptures. Really eye-opening in several areas.}

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss {Loved the journal-format. Written over 100 years ago, but Prentiss' fictionalized account of growing as a woman of Christ is poignant and relatable. I'll need to reread it.}

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganda and Caitlyn Alifirenka

The Last of the Doughboys by Richard Rubin {These interviews of WWII vets almost all over 100 years old were fascinating, amazing, unbelievable. I still think about them.}

Does Prayer Change Things? by R.C. Sproul


September 2021:

Together Tea by Marjan Kamali {Kamali writes another great novel set between Iran and the US.}

King Arthur and Her Knights by K.M. Shea

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter {Retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Some great twists to the classic story.}

True Light by Terri Blackstock

Dawn's Light by Terri Blackstock

Lovely War by Julie Berry {Two love stories set during WWI told by Aphrodite and a few other greek gods. Such a neat idea! Loved the ending.}

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney {Just what I needed on my quest for a better praying life. Humorous as well.}

Keeping Hope Alive by Dr. Hawa Abdi

Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity by Alisa Childers {Childers' memoir/apologetics book defines progressive Christianity and explains why and how it is so destructive.}

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny {Another Gamache installment. Lots of inner turmoil. Unexpected ending too!}

The Number of Love by Roseanna White {WWI codebreakers novel. Christian fiction that was actually well-written!}

The Girl in the Red Hood by Brittany FIchter {A retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that was somewhat dark but still clean. Compelling!}

The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier

What is Predestination? by R.C. Sproul

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir


October 2021:

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner {I love Meissner's historical fiction. I was completely caught up in the dual time frames of this novel.}

The Riven Kingdoms, Books 1-3 by Shari L. Tapscott

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins {Magical realism at its finest. Love the idea of books telling a librarian who needs them.}

A Cup of Silver Linings by Karen Hawkins {sequel to above. This time with magical teas made for specific people.}

Tisha: The Story of A Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness by Anne Hobbs Purdy and Robert Sprecht {I barely put this memoir down--about a young teacher in early 1900s in Alaska.}

Hall of Blood and Mercy, Books 1-3 by K.M. Shea {Funny, clean, well-written urban fantasy! I'll reread these (which says a lot).}

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson {A well thought out and well-researched book on a really hard, controversial topic. Really appreciated the Christian perspective.}

Sweep: The Story of A Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier {Fantastic storytelling of a chimney sweep and her golem.}

Teaching from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie {Memoir/homeschooling book for mamas. It spoke to my heart.}

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Love in the Afternoon by Karen Hawkins

The Spoken Mage Series, Books 1-5 by Melanie Cellier {Fantasy. I was immediately pulled into their world; specifically how important and powerful words are!}

West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge

Mr. Gardiner and the Governess by Sally Britton


November 2021:

Court of Midnight and Deception, Books 1-3 by K.M. Shea {Urban fantasy trilogy that was just as engaging as her previous set from October. So good!}

The Marquise and her Cat by Shari L. Tapscott

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale {I was really impressed with Hale's songs/poems she created for this book, and with her general storytelling style. Lovely.}

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope {Fantasy set during the reign of Queen Mary in England. Eerie, kind of creepy.}

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope {I smiled throughout this one. Colonial era ghosts appear to tell their stories at their historical family home.}

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

The Last Chance Motel by Karen Hawkins

A Companion for the Count by Sally Britton

The Autumn Fairy Trilogy by Brittany Fichter

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery {I reread this as an adult and so loved it! Better as an adult, I think.}

A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil

Clara's Soldier by Brittany Fichter

Pippa of Lauramore by Shari L. Tapscott {First in a fantasy series. I loved the main characters and their different story lines. I read the rest of the series in December.}

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore {This nonfiction book was haunting. It has stuck with me even when I would rather it hadn't. Such a sad piece of history.}

The Girl from the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor


December 2021:

The Star Clock Chronicles, Books 1-5 by E.J. Kitchens {These steampunk fantasy novellas were so different and entertaining!}

Penny's Yuletide Wish by Sally Britton

The Coronation Ball by Melanie Cellier

Happily Ever Afters by Melanie Cellier

Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar {Such a well-written historical fiction set during the times of the early church.}

Timeless Fairy Tales: Beauty and the Beast, Wild Swans, Cinderella and the Colonel by K.M. Shea {Specifically loved this take on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Kept my attention the whole time.}

The Taste of Ginger by Mansi Shah

Mystery at the Midnight Ball by Kristen Niedfeldt {Another awesome Cinderella retelling! I enjoyed the role of responsibility Cinderella ended up engaging in before being rescued.}

The Eldentimber Series, Books 2-6 by Shari L. Tapscott {The rest of Pippa's series. They were just super fun to read.}

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

At Home In Mitford by Jan Karon {This one felt cozy, relaxing, and quite charming.}

The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer E. Nielsen

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

The Mistletoe Murders by P.D. James

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale {Sequel--I enjoyed it just as much as the first.}



I definitely hit my reading stride toward the last half of the year. I'll be keeping my eye on Tim Challies' reading challenge for 2022. I am also toying with the idea of choosing my books for each month ahead of time so that each month will be more well-rounded. We will see how that goes as I can be a bit of a mood-reader.


It's always fun to start a new year of reading!

Let me know any favorites you've read this past year!

54 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All